ZigBee Alliance to investigate Japanese smart home market needs


Bob Heile,
ZigBee Alliance
San Ramon, CA, U.S.A. — (METERING.COM) — August 3, 2012 – The ZigBee® Alliance has announced a new initiative to evaluate the use of the forthcoming ZigBee Internet Protocol (IP) specification and the IEEE 802.15.4g standard on the 920 MHz frequency band in Japan for home energy management.

Last December, Japan’s Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC) designated the 920 MHz band for active low power radio systems.

In February, the IP-based ECHONETLite standard was endorsed as the Japanese Smart House Standard by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI). The ECHONET consortium is developing ECHONETLite to define the application for electric appliances and electronic equipment to connect to a home energy management system but it will not define the underlying communication layers, allowing the use of any appropriate communication standard. Japanese product manufacturers are currently examining open communication standards for future products using ECHONETLite.

The Alliance will examine operating the ECHONETLite application on the ZigBee IP stack using the 920 MHz option of 802.15.4g. It will also examine providing ZigBee Smart Energy version 2 for Japan on the same ZigBee networking stack configuration. Once that process is complete, the Alliance will evaluate creating a testing program and possibly offering certification for these devices.

“The Japanese members of the ZigBee Alliance Special Interest Group-Japan, including NEC Engineering, OKI and Renesas Electronics, will be leading the Alliance’s effort to examine these new requirements for Japan,” said Bob Heile, chairman of the ZigBee Alliance. “This initiative allows our members to better understand how they might help Japan as it copes with its new energy challenges.”